By Penny Cowden, Executive Director of the CMH Foundation
Columbia Memorial Hospital is always a major sponsor for the local Relay for Life. The annual event benefits the American Cancer Society (ACS), which supports the services at the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative. It’s so exciting to announce that the 2018 Relay for Life has given back at the local level with an initial grant of $5,000 for patient transportation.
The Cancer Collaborative has accomodated a great need in the community. Patients travel from as far as Tillamook County and Pacific County, Washington, to receive treatment. Too many of these patients are under-insured and without family support to assist with transportation needs. Currently, the social worker in the Cancer Collaborative helps patients find support for transportation to and from treatment. This year alone, subsidized cab rides amounted to $3,300.
Many patients are on fixed incomes and don’t qualify for state transportation services. This is the story of “Bob” (name changed), an elderly cancer patient who couldn’t safely drive himself to and from treatments. Bob had to pay out of pocket for Medix services daily for five weeks. The charges for transportation on his credit card were ultimately financially detrimental.
The Cancer Collaborative staff began seeking options to develop a sustainable transportation assistance program. The ideal program would assist patients who need services but don’t qualify for other transportation resources. After staff proposed a transportation project to the ACS for funding, they were overjoyed when it was approved — it meant direct help for Bob and other patients facing similar challenges. The ACS awarded the Cancer Collaborative $5,000 specifically to assist patients with transportation.
The CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative is now able to assist more patients and deliver even better support. Thank you to all of those who participated in Relay for Life and the ACS.
Media Contact: Nancee Long, 503-338-4504
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